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The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, together with its mountain gorilla, is Uganda’s most valuable national asset. Tracking this beautiful and under threat species of primate remains one of the most moving experiences on our portfolio.
The densely forested, mist-covered hillsides of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas. As they do not survive in captivity, the conservation of Bwindi is vital to their survival. More than half the world’s population of mountain gorilla reside within Bwindi and these are the main focus of visitors. However, there are also healthy populations of chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkey, red-tailed monkey and colobus as well as 5 species of duiker and bushbuck. A small population of forest elephants also live within the forest and although the animals themselves are rarely seen, the tell-tale signs of their presence are often encountered.
The park can be accessed from Buhoma in the north, and Nkuringo in the south. Both have an impressive array of luxury lodges, rustic bandas and budget campsites, as well as restaurants, craft stalls and guiding services. There are also plenty of opportunities to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa Pygmy cultures, through performances, workshops and fascinating village walks.
Size: 321 sq km
Gorilla Tracking: Habituated groups can be tracked in Buhoma, Nkuringo and Nshongi – permits ($500 per person) are limited and must be booked in advance form the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Guided forest walks: Immerse yourself in the Impenetrable Forest, with waterfalls, views of the Virunga Mountains and rivers, in a selection of three- to eight-hour trails.
Birding: An impressive 350 species have been recorded in the park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers some of the finest montane forest birding in Africa and is a key destination for any birder visiting Uganda. Amongst the numerous possibilities are no fewer than 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics, including spectacular, globally threatened species such as African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing. Common species include cuckoos, turacos, bee-eaters, flycatchers and shrikes – all easily viewable in a short walk along the main trail from Buhoma.
Primate viewing: L’Hoests, red tailed, blue and colobus monkeys are common in the Forest, as well as chimpanzees and baboons
Village walks, music and dance performances and Batwa walks at Nkuringo, Nyundo, Buhoma and Rubuguri offer memorable experiences for culture lovers.
An estimated 320 mountain gorillas inhabit the forest, as well as several monkey species, chimpanzees, baboons, bushbucks and forest duikers (small antelopes).
Getting Here: Roads in this region are extremely poor, especially during bad weather. The drive from Kampala via Mbarara takes six to eight hours, from Queen Elizabeth National Park two to three hours, and from Kabale in the south it is roughly two to three hours.
Climate: Bwindi ranges from around 1,160 to 2,600 meters altitude, and is consequently rather cold, especially at night. If possible, visitors should avoid the rainy months of April – May and September – November, though heavy rain can occur at any time.